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01 November 2022 | Story Jóhann Thormählen | Photo Maties Sport/Kimara Singh
Jerry Laka new Director of Kovsie Sport
Jerry Laka is the new Director of KovsieSport at the University of the Free State.

A number of universities wanted to make use of his expertise, but Jerry Laka decided on the University of the Free State (UFS) as it has great potential in sport development, and he believes he can contribute positively to its future growth. 

Laka starts the next chapter of his career on 1 November 2022 as the new Director of KovsieSport.

It has been a big year for him as he obtained a master’s degree and is now taking on a new challenge after seven years at Stellenbosch University (SU).

Laka was the Maties Sport Director of Support Services and takes over from Maryka Holtzhausen.

Holtzhausen was the Acting Director of KovsieSport for the past few months after DB Prinsloo’s term as Director of KovsieSport finished in March 2022. Prinsloo is still the Head of Athletics.

Ever-evolving environment

Laka wants to help KovsieSport grow and “provide a transformative student sport experience”.

“We need to build on KovsieSport’s tradition of success and craft a future that is diverse and inclusive at all levels and continue to build a sustainable delivery model,” he says.

His move is naturally also one of personal growth.

“It is important that as a person you don’t get stuck in doing the same thing time and again in the same environment.”

“Sport is constantly changing, and challenges will always drive one to be innovative in this ever-evolving space.”

From Pretoria to Banyana Banyana

Laka, born and bred in Pretoria, describes himself as “a passionate sports person” and was involved in a variety of sports at Ratshepo High School before football was the winner.

He has more than 20 years’ experience, but believes in the power of education, personally and for others. He holds many academic qualifications, which include degrees, certificates, and diplomas in law, sports management, and sports and recreation management.

In 2022, he obtained a Master of Management degree at the Southern Business School (STADIO), focusing on ‘The Attraction and Retention of Talented Sports Administrative Staff in a University Sports South African Environment’.

“This study sought to discover the patterns, qualities, and strategies for the recruitment and retention of sport administration employees at South African universities,” he says.

Laka also has an extensive CV as a sports administrator.

Highlights include being General Secretary of the Confederation of Universities and Colleges Sports Association (CUCSA) and a member of the University Sport South Africa (USSA) National Executive Committee.

He was part of the USSA general team management for the World Student Games (Summer Universiade) from 2003 to 2017 in different capacities, and the Chef de Mission at the 29th Summer Universiade 2017.

While he was an assistant coach of Banyana Banyana, the team participated in the 2012 London Olympics and won a silver medal at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Women’s Championship the same year.

Sport is constantly changing, and challenges will always drive one to be innovative in this ever-evolving space. – Jerry Laka

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